Review: Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

What happens when America’s First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales?

Alex Claremont-Diaz is handsome, charismatic, a genius – pure millennial-marketing gold for the White House ever since his mother first became President of the United States. There’s only one problem. When the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an altercation between Alex and Prince Henry, U.S./British relations take a turn for the worse.

Heads of family and state devise a plan for damage control: stage a truce. But what begins as a fake, Instagrammable friendship grows deeper, and more dangerous, than either Alex or Henry could have imagined. Soon they are hurtling into a secret romance that could derail the presidential campaign and upend two nations.

When the son of the President of the United States incites a scandal with one of the Princes of the United Kingdom, it throws the state of international relations into question. In a bid to iron out this misunderstanding, both the First Son and the HRH Prince must appear to be the best of best friends one could ever have… Except, how is that possible when they can’t stand to be in the same room together? There’s a fine line between love and hate, as Alex and Henry are about to find out… 

It has been TWO MONTHS and I’m still as in love with this story as I was the night I read the last line. I absolutely loved, loved, loved, loved, loved this book. It’s worth every ounce of hype it gets; it’s positively queer, emotional and the epitome of hilarious. I just loved it.

Alex (the First son) was so funny and had such a bold personality, I was immediately envious over the fact that 1) Alex is a fictional character, and 2) We aren’t actually friends IRL. Then there’s HRH Henry, who was so sweet and chivalrous – exactly what one expects when they think of what a British royal would be like. Alongside the boys, the supporting characters were phenomenal; they were some of the best side characters I’ve ever read, if not the best. 

Red, White & Royal Blue explored so many things; sexual identity, public personas vs who one actually is, life and career aspirations… Personally, I found the overall book to be a beacon of hope. Hope for a better tomorrow – politically, socially, culturally. I’d hate for anyone to overlook this book purely on the basis of it being a “romance” book, because it is so much more, namely it’s a literary cuddle on days when reality feels suffocating.

Although, I cannot deny, the romance and steam were ON FIRE!! I loved Alex and Henry’s banter; from their meet ups to their online posts to texting each other profound messages. My heart was a mushy puddle for how McQuiston captured a couple with such heat but also where they were each other’s harbour and safe place. It was just so wonderful.

All in all, my heart soared sky high and shredded to pieces. I was so invested in this book I actually had tears. The ending was so blazingly hopeful, which I was convinced wouldn’t be able to centre back to the levity it had had, in light of some very traumatic events (TW: personal information being publicly shared without consent). But McQuiston is a genius and I needn’t have worried one bit. Red, White & Royal Blue is one of my favourite reads ever. I would quite happily, without hesitation, read it again and again. I’m an impatient plum waiting for the Collector’s edition hardback.

Buy It Now

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